The best little nursery in Minnesota

  Spring Flowers


Each May my friend Steve and I visit Kelley and Kelley Nursery in Long Lake, MN. It’s a bit of a journey (40 miles) to get there from the east side of the Twin Cities metro where we live. We always come home with more plants than we intended to buy. Still, garden retail therapy is abolutely essential after seven months of Minnesota winter.


Garden Bench 

The perennial meadow is planted with bluebells, trillium, minor bulbs and tulips.


Kelley and Kelley is a family-run business, third generation I believe. The people at Kelley are part of the reason the place is so special. The owner takes time to visit with you. And the friendly staff go far out of their way to be helpful.


Tulips  and Bluebells

Tulips and bluebells, close-up


Kelley and Kelley offers ‘you pickem’ plants. You can select plants from a spreading field of spring ephemerals or their raised beds. The field staff will dig and pot them for you. Kelley’s also sells pre-potted perennials.

Their selection ranges from typical plants you would find at gardenmarts to unusual varieties for the collector. But the big draw for me, and many others are the bluebells. They are the only nursery I know who sells them in the Twin Cities.




Dodging Raindrops



Kelly’s has a meadow of self-seeding and planted perennials. There are paths through the meadow and into the forest beyond


Old-fashioned Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectablis) blooms, close up


 Raindrops on a intersectional peony hybrid


Tulips close their leaves when it rains




Pictures from my annual trip with my friend Steve to Kelly and Kelly Nursery, Long Lake Minnesota. It was cool and rainy that day — perfect for taking plant pictures.

Each spring I set aside a few days to visit local, family-owned nurseries. I like to pick up a few plants, but since each of these places has a local garden, its also a great way to get some garden touring in. Kelly’s has a few of the harder to find plants. I wasn’t disappointed this visit; I scored some rare Thalictrum hybrids for my shade garden.